Sony Pictures Classics has acquired US rights to Anne Fontaine's biopic Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tautou.

Warner Bros, whose Warner Bros France division produced the picture with Haut Et Court, Cine@, Warner Bros France and Films Distribution, will release in France on April 22 and retains rights for Latin America, Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan and Australia.

Optimum will release in the UK, RCV in Benelux, Global Motion Pictures in Russia, and Svensk in Scandinavia. Further international distributors will be announced in due course.

Shot in French in the Paris environs and Normandy, Coco Before Chanel tells the story of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, who rose from humble roots as a headstrong orphan to become the preeminent fashion couturier and style icon of her time.

Alessandro Nivola, Benoit Poelvoorde, Emmanuelle Devos and Marie Gillain round out the key cast. Philippe Carcassonne, Caroline Benjo and Carole Scotta produced and Anne Fontaine and Camille Fontaine wrote the screenplay with the collaboration of Christopher Hampton, loosely based on L'Irreguliere by Edmonde Charles-Roux.

'We're delighted to partner with Sony Pictures Classics and the other international distributors to bring Anne Fontaine's compelling film to audiences around the world,' Warner Bros executive vice president of international Richard Fox said.

'Coco Before Chanel is a richly satisfying movie about the first modern woman of the 20th century, superbly realised by Anne Fontaine's precise direction, Audrey Tautou's alluring performance and amazing craftsmanship in all areas of production, as brought together by Philippe, Caroline and Carole,' Sony Pictures Classics co-president and co-founder Michael Barker said.

The production received the assistance of the Maison Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, both of whom granted access to their archives and collections.